The BQ(Q) – Ben

Thanks to fellow RAer Ben (B-Plus for all you RA users) for taking the time to fill this out!

Name: Ben (@benlooii)

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 33

Height: 5’9”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 145

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your finishing time? Tell us a little about the race.

Tokyo Marathon, 2009. This was my second marathon, and I finished in a time of 3:08:47. I had just run my first marathon in the fall, and this race took place 5 months later. The conditions were great at the start, and everything was going wonderfully. At about the 30km mark, I had this huge smile on my face and really couldn’t contain myself, because I had it feeling that this was going to be my day. At the same time, I knew I still had a lot of work ahead of me, and I tried my best not to let the excitement get the best of me. This was a bit difficult because I was so overwhelmed with the amount of crowd support in my first ever mega-race.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?

I started semi-seriously in 2007. I had previously run on and off for several years for fitness and fun dating back to junior high. I think I ran the 1-mile fitness tests in junior high in about 10-12 minutes.

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ?

Less than 2,500 miles.

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?

1,700 miles

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

9 races in the 12 months prior to my BQ.

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?

Pfitzinger/Douglas 18/55

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?


Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?

I did some strength training, but leading into this race was around the time that I started to get more serious about running and started to drop my non-running activities.

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?

To be honest, I’m more of the type to follow a plan without questioning it. But I do think it’s all about balance within a training program and getting all of the different types of workouts in. I tend to gain confidence from nailing tempo workouts during heavy periods of training.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?

Just keeping working hard toward your goals and celebrate the small successes. I never thought I would get anywhere close to a BQ when I started this running thing. Enjoy every step.

Ben on the run
Ben at the Tokyo Marathon

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